Appeals Court: Lesch is Not Immune From Defamation Lawsuit
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ The Minnesota Court of Appeals says a state representative who was sued for defamation is not entitled to immunity because comments he made about the St. Paul city attorney were not legislative activity.
The decision allows Lyndsey Olson's defamation case against state Rep. John Lesch to proceed.
Olson sued Lesch after he wrote a January 2018 letter to newly-elected St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter in which he expressed concern about Olson's fitness for office.
Lesch argued he had legislative immunity and the case should be dismissed.
But the Appeals Court ruled Monday that a legislator's actions must be within the sphere of legitimate legislative activity to warrant legislative immunity. The judges found that Lesch's letter to Carter did not fall into that category, so he's not immune from litigation.